Why Conservationists Hunt....
Many people think that it is contrary that as lovers of nature the members of our Chapter promote deer hunting. It is true innocent animals are suffering a senseless death, so our organization is doing something to actively prevent it. And that is actually what our bow hunting program is designed to do.
The Chapter grounds of the Lois Green-Sligo Chapter is suffering from the same deer problem as many of the increasingly isolated natural areas in our area. There are simply too many deer for our property to adequately feed and shelter.
Because of overcrowding these deer have been wandering further and further from the safety and seclusion of their natural habitat on our Chapter grounds into the surrounding neighborhoods in search of food. This increases the possibility of deer being struck by motorists, which not only is usually fatal to the deer, but also can cause injury to humans and expensive damage to their vehicles.
The overpopulation of deer also affects both the health of the plants and other animals that make up the woodlands of our Chapter grounds. The overgrazing of the plants closest to the ground by the deer has left a growing area of our forest floor barren. Many of the forest’s smaller creatures, who depend on these ground plants for food and shelter, are being crowded into shrinking areas of adequate growth. These vital members of our ecosystem are, just like the deer, moving into the neighborhoods, where they are considered pests, and often either starve or are destroyed.
Overgrazing results in loss of ground cover, that will eventually leave the soil depleted of an adequate diversity of nutrients, making the area less hospitable to a variety of plants. This can further drive away birds and other creatures that depend on specific plants for their food source.
The lack of a variety of plants makes the forest much more susceptible to plant diseases and blights. When young trees are eaten, the forest begins to lose its ability to replenish the trees that are the signature of the habitat.
Who can hunt our Grounds?
Permission to hunt is limited to members of the Lois Green-Sligo Chapter and the invited guests of the members. Only one guest is allowed each member at a time, and the member must be in the same hunting zone as the guest. At no time is it permitted that a guest hunter is left unattended on the property. Read more about joining our Chapter.
All hunters, both members and guests, must have a valid bow hunting license issued by the State of Maryland. Before permission is granted to hunt, all hunters must review and agree to obey all State laws, regulations, local ordinances and safety rules specific to the LGSC property.
All hunters will be issued a “Land Owners Permission to Hunt the Property” card signed by the president of the Chapter. This must be carried by any hunter while on the grounds.
How will hunting be conducted?
The Chapter’s highest priority regarding our bow hunting program is the safety of both the hunters and anyone else on or near the property. The most fundamental rules to ensure that maximum safety is met, are imposed by law and additional rules we are imposing on our hunters.
Most importantly firearms of any kind are strictly prohibited on the grounds.
The first law is the need for a hunting license. The Chapter also strongly recommends completion of a Bow Hunter Safety Course.
Various courses are offered at other IWLA chapters.
County hunting requirements require that any bow hunter is a minimum of 100 yards from occupied dwellings, and 100 yards from roads. Our hunting zones are clearly marked on the property with yellow or safety zone signs, leaving an expansive safety zone between any hunter and populated areas. Hunters cannot shoot into, or shoot from the safety zone.
All bow hunting on the property will be done from tree stands. This means that arrows will be traveling at a downward trajectory, so it will not travel far before it hits the ground. Hunters will be required to wear full body harnesses to protect them from falling out of the tree. Falling is the cause of the vast majority of bow hunting accidents.
Any potential hunter will be required to demonstrate to the Chapter Hunting Program Coordinator a degree of proficiently with the bow by shooting from an elevated platform at a 3D target. Hunters must hit the kill zone 3 out of 5 times at different distances ranging from 10-30 yards. Archers are encouraged to use a range finder.
A sign will be displayed at the pavilion at the entrance of the property notifying any visitors when hunting is being conducted on the property.
Lois Green-Sligo Chapter, IWLA Hunter Rules and Regulations
Failure to comply with these regulations will result in the individual being asked to immediately leave the property, and the loss of any future use of the property. Any Chapter member has the authority and responsibility to enforce these regulations.
- Hunting by members and invited guests only during the regular state bow hunting season. Members are permitted to bring one guest to hunt at a time, and must be in the same zone with the non-member guest while hunting.
- Bow hunting only (Cross bows included). Bow Hunter Safety Course recommended for all bow hunters.
- Tree Stand use is required. All personal stands must be removed at the end of each hunt. Only Chapter-owned permanent stands are permitted now. Full Body harness while in a tree stand is required for all hunters.
- All hunters (both members and guests) will meet with the Hunting Program Coordinator to review rules, regulations, and hunting zones. They will also be asked to show proficiency with the bow by shooting a target from distances ranging from 10-30 yards.
- All hunters must agree to obey all State laws, regulations, local ordinances and safety rules specific to the LGSC property. All hunters must sign a liability waiver release form and will be issued a Land Owners Permission to Hunt the Property card signed by the president of the Chapter at that time.
- Hunter Orange must be worn while in transit to and from the tree stand location.
- Arrows must be marked with hunter’s name and phone number.
- All hunters must park at the pavilion parking lot and SIGN IN and SIGN OUT on day of their hunt. Upon arrival at the pavilion, hunters must expose the sign by flipping it to reveal the words BOW HUNTER ON PREMISES. At the end of the hunt, hunters must SIGN OUT and cover the sign. Hikers and other users may be present during hunting season.
- No hunting or shooting within or toward the SAFETY ZONE.
- If wounded deer run off property on to parkland, the hunters must call M-NCPPC police to retrieve deer (301-949-3010 Park Police Dispatch).
Please call Phil Lowe, our Hunting Program Coordinator, with any questions at 301-646-0640.